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Full text of "Elliot Feiden Family Collection"

Leo Baeck Institute Archives: Box Inventory List Date Created: 5/29/2003 

Call Number Collection Titles No. Folders 

AR 251 30 Elliott Feiden Family Collection » 

Box 1 



Folder List 

Folder 1: Peretz Cypres 

• 1. Family Tree , ... „ . . 

• 2. Letter (Yiddish) to daughter Pepi after she left Krakow for America with the baby 

• 3. Letter to Jonas Anisfeld in New York re: sale of a string of pearls for the benefit of 

daughter Pepi. 
4 Postcard (very fragile) (Yiddish) shortly before his death 
5. 1907 Krakow Houseowners 1 Directory listing 10 Stradom St. owned by Cypres 

family. 

• Folder 2: Pepi and Emil Elias 

• 1 . Letter (Yiddish) from Emil to his mother and to his bride, Adrianapol, October r, 

1889 

2 Letter (Yiddish) from Emil to his bride Pepi, Adrianapol, October 25, 1889. 

3. Telegrams of congratulation on their wedding at the Hotel Steinberg, Krakow, 
probably December 1888. 

• 4. Ship's manifest of S.S. Meier arriving January 9, 1893 with Pep. Elias and brother 
Michael, sister Malcia and baby Minde. , _. ûm . r 
. 5. Two letters addressed to Collector of the Port re: arrival of S. S. Meier, December 

1892. 
6 Ocean letter from Percy Elias to his mother (undated) 

7. Ketuba for marriage of Minde Elias to Philip Feiden, March 17, 1918 

8. Excerpt from 1920 census. 

9 Label for Passover wine from E. Elias distillery in Colchester, CT. 
10. 1920 transmittal of money from Emil and Bernard Elias to Debora Blumenfeld in 

Cialicia 
11 Purchase order of tombstone for Emil Elias, July 21, 1921 

12. Obituary for Peter Elias (son of Percy), noted Theorist of Information and 

Computers. 

13. Passports for Ester Gittel Cypres and Emil Elias 1889 

14. Travel document for Emil Elias for Bulgaria (OS 80) 
Folder 3: AUGUSTE LANDAU (Cypres) 
1 . Photo of Auguste Landau 

• 2 August 5 1920 - Letter to brother Michael depicting how she supported her 
children during WW1 by doing sewing for the German army, (see attachment from 
Liberty Memorial Museum, Kansas City, MO) 

• 3. September 27, 1921 - letter to brother Michael re: engagement of daughter Mala 
and studies of son Paul o ör i!o 

• 4. December 3, 1922 - Letter to sister Pepi describing the hardships of living in Berlin 

• 5 February 9 1 923 - Letter to brother Nathan - birth and sickness of a new 
grandchild and'how they dealt with it. Son Paul had to give up his studies for lack of 
money and hyper-inflation 

. 6. Banknote for ten thousand marks, (engraver was jailed for depicting a vampire 
sucking the life blood out of the German people) 

. 7 April 15 1930 - Letter to brother Michael and sister Pepi re: family matters. 
. 8 September 6, 1931 - Letter to all siblings re: family matters, financial matters 
concerning the sale of the house on 10 Stradom St. in Cracow 

9 1939 Jewish and Minority census 

10. Correspondence with Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv, Potsdam, in 
attempt to trace the fate of Auguste and Paul Landau. 
Folder 4: BERNHARD CYPRES 
1 November 26, 191 1 - Letter to sister Pepi re: family matters and sale of the house 



Leo Baeck Institute Archives: Box Inventory List 



Date Created: 5/29/2003 



in Cracow. 

• 2. March 27, 1912 - letter to sister Pepi re: family matters 

• 3. October 3, 1913 - Letter to sister Pepi - Rosh ha shana greetings 

• 4. June 11, 1 91 8 - letter to brother Michael reporting on the family and their great 
difficulties, healthwise and financially with the enormous increase in prices. 

• Folder 5: ADELA SPIRA (Cypres) 

• 1. July 1919 - Letter to brother Michael depicting life in Poland during the war and all 
the deprivations and poverty they have to endure. 

• 2. May 1921 - Letter to sister Pepi dealing with sickness and hardships. Her son in 
America does not help his mother. 

• 3. August 1924 - letter to sister Pepi re: rental income from the house and family 
matters. 

• 4. December 1925 - Letter to siblings re: financial difficulties for everyone. Not 
enough contact between the siblings and none with her son which is very sad. 

• 5. May 1928 - Letter to brother Michael. Family matters 

• Folder 6: AMALIA BÜRSTENBINDER (Cypres) 

• 1. August 1907 - letter to all siblings. Family news 

• 2. June 1927 - letter to brother Michael and sister Pepi re: engagement of daughter 
and other family matters. Financial difficulties in Berlin 

• 3. September 1928 - Letter to sister Pepi. Birth of a grandchild and other family news 

• 4. Undated letter to sister Pepi. Family news and the death of bother Bernhard. 

• Folder 7: HELENA STORCH (Cypres) 

• 1. February 1909 - unaddressed (probably to sister Pepi) re: money quarrels about 
the house in Cracow. 

• 2. October 1913 - Letter to sister Pepi re: family matters and greetings for the New 
Year. 

• 3. December 1925 - letter from nephew Bernhard pleading for a loan to prevent 
foreclosure on the parents' property 

• 4. Undated probably after the death of the husband 

• Folder 8: JACOB BIRNBAUM 

• Ship's record and obituary for Jacob Birnbaum, victim of the Titanic disaster. 

• Folder 9: MISCELLANEOUS 

• Miscellaneous correspondence. Financial statements regarding the house in Cracow 



Box Size 0.25 linear feet 

Feet 
1 Collection(s); 9 Folder(s); 0.25 linear feet Feet. Inv-ID# 4701 



THESE WERE THE IMMIGRANTS 

In 1 889 Emil Elias married Pepi Cypres in Cracow. He was 34, she was 23. Soon 
thereafter, the young couple left Poland for America. It was said that Ernd was m an 
illegal business. He traveled extensively throughout the Middle East selling religious 
items The couple lived in New York when Pep. became pregnant. She returned alone to 
Cracow sometime in 1 891 to have her baby in the family home, as was the custom at that 
time In December 1 892, Pepi returned to New York on the maiden voyage of the SS 
Meier and sailed into New York harbor on January 9, 1893 accompanied by her one year 
old daughter Minde (Minna), her younger brother Michael, younger aster Malcia and a 
twelve year old girl from the Elias family. We have no further records on her. 

In New York, Pepi and Emil set up housekeeping first at 1 14 Willet Street, later at 612 
East 9th Street, where Emil ran a coal and seltzer business. To accommodate his horse 
and wagon, Emil had a cutout made in the curb, which exists today although the present 
tenant probably has no idea why. 

As there was no need for coal in the summer, Emil moved his horses by barge up to 
Connecticut and eventually worked the land, as did many immigrants under a program set 
up by Baron de Hirsch. There were many fruit trees on the farm and Emil had a i winery 
where he made kosher wine in Colchester, CT. It was here that Minna met her future 
husband Phillip Feiden. 

We next find the family resettled in New York at 423 East 158th Street in the Bronx this 
time in real estate. There are now three children, Minna, Nathaniel and Percy. As they 
matured, all had an American entrepreneunal bent. In the 1930*. M.nna founded and 
operated a chain of lending libraries located in small towns in the Hudson Valley. 
Nathaniel, after graduating from Columbia University with a Chemical Engineering 
degree, worked for Thomas Edison in his Edison New Jersey laboratory. He later 
established his own laboratory in New York City and became a well-known chemical 
engineer. He testified as an expert at the Nuerenberg War Crimes trials Percy also 
graduated from Columbia where he majored in journalism. He established a New York 
Publishing house named "Emerson Books" and ran Emerson until he died in the 1960 s. 

In 1921, after finishing college, Percy visited his mother's various siblings who were now 
Lg in Germany where it was a penod of runaway inflat.on. He had little money when 
he arrived but what he had went far. He worked on the ship for his fare. We have an 
ocean letter from him when on the SS Seydlitz. 

In 1918 Pepi and Emil's daughter Minna married Phillip Feiden in New York City They 
had two sons, Barry and Elliott, the donor of this collection. Elliott Is a Corne 1 graduate 
and co-founder of the firm of Throop and Feiden, Consulting Engineers a we 1 known 
and highly respected structural engineering firm in existence in New York City for nearly 
fifty years Barrv, also a Cornell Graduate, ran "Emerson Books" until the late 1990 s. 



While the immigrants settled in the new world and became true Americans Pep. s 
siblings remained in Poland, Austria and Germany. They married had children and 
grandchildren and worked at various professions. Some were land owners eldest broth« 
Bernhard was a jewelry and diamond dealer as was his son who had married into a 
wealthy Belgian family. Sister Gusti Landau lived in Berlin and supported herself and 
her two children as a seamstress. When at the outbreak of World War 1 she lost all her 
customers because the army had requisitioned the fabrics, she went to the Prussian Anny 
and asked for work. They gave her a few thousand, precut breadbags (an army issue) to 
make She ran an ad in the Berlin newspapers; a hundred girls answered. She chose 
sixty of them and gave out homework until the job was done. Soon after the war, her 
daughter married a Polish lawyer and they had two children; her son remained m Berlin. 
He had to abandon his studies for lack of money and became an orthopedist for the well- 
known shoe house Leyser. 

The twenty's were difficult years in Europe with the deprivations from the war and later 
hyperinflation. Eventually most of the younger generation mamed and had hopes ot 
building a better future for themselves and their children until the Nazis came to power. 
They did not survive the Holocaust.